Friday, September 7, 2007

Why God Why?

Some films should never be made. They may have all the elements of a good film - a competent director, a reasonably exciting star cast, a couple of catchy tunes and visibly high production values. Nonetheless, I repeat, they should never be made.

Now it is one thing if the script on paper seems like a worthy idea. There are many instances when you watch a not-so-great film and, while you are disappointed with the outcome, you can see how the original plan seemed fine but the execution was flawed.

In the sad case of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, one can't seem to comprehend how the idea ever seemed appealing to begin with. The film tells the sorry tale of four blithering idiots: Abhishek Bachchan, a smart-talking and good-for-nothing pendu, most commonly found standing around the corners of Southall; Preity Zinta, an absurd and so-called Muslim who simultaneously shouts out in defense of Pakistan and Muslims while also chanting about how she has slept with some ridiculous amount of men; Bobby Deol as a very wooden millionaire who talks in a monotone, clearly reading from the script voice; and Lara Dutta, a French/Indian hotel manager whom it is difficult to understand more than half the time.

Ah yes, there is also Amitabh Bachchan as a horrendously-clad gypsy of some sort - you know, the kind your parents once told you to avoid at all costs? The very sight of him in this film is shocking and frankly, completely unnecessary.

Maybe the characters are somewhat unique, but they are for the most part incoherent and intolerable. The first half of the film - where Abhishek and Preity are telling one another about their (not-so) respectable love interests - is downright unbearable. You almost contemplate switching the film off, but something inside of you wonders if it could possibly get better. Instead, the story goes no where and instead you encounter a 30-minute dance marathon with the same title song reappearing for a second and third outing in this blasphemous enterprise.

One would hope the star quality would lift the film, but the performances leave much to be desired. Abhishek tries very hard, but it's not some fantastic role that can lift the film from the dumps in which it resides. Bobby is a poor excuse of an actor in the first half, but his Mama's boy routine in the second half is far more appreciated. Preity is loud, obnoxious and Botox-ed like there is no tomorrow. It's sad, really, given one of her better performances just came last summer in the form of Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, but it seems that was nothing short of a diamond in the rough. Lara somehow manages to speak in French-accented Hindi and sound plausible - sadly, the act itself is so irritating that it overbears her effort. She's done quite well in the film, but once again - no single actor is about to salvage this disaster.

The music consists of the same song, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, in three forms. The best two are those showcased in the dance contest - JBJ and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. Bol Na Halke Halke is a very nice song, but the entire sequence involving the song is completely nonsensical and one of the worst attempts at triggering romance in a Hindi film. The less said about songs like Ticket to Hollywood and Kiss of Love, the better. The titles themselves say enough.

The biggest question mark in the film? Shaad Ali. For someone who made his directorial debut with Saathiya, something that was unique, consistent, laden with fine performances and, of course, a musical gem, Shaad has certainly catapulted into an almost B-grade venture. There was an all right Bunty Aur Babli in the middle, thanks to the charm of Abhishek and Rani, again a fun musical score and, barring the climax, an enjoyable ride. Yet how the same director could create such a massacre will perhaps remain the unsolved mystery of his career.

Verdict? Don't even THINK about it.


Shreya said...

agreed with every printed word here...

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